Friday, July 26, 2013

Personal situation

Some people tell me that they prefer my personal blogs to my political ones. This tells them something about what life is like in Israel and the challenges one faces in everyday life. I have an extra challenge, namely that my wife has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease starting about 4 years ago (most of our friends are aware of this by now). Her loss of memory is profound and severe, she hasn't driven for several years and does not use the computer, or do banking or anything like that. Yet we manage.

At first we had difficulty in having a metapelet (carer) for her, because she was resistant to it. But, after a few tries we found an English-speaking lady from Boston, who comes every weekday morning to be with her. They go out walking and shopping and visit Naomi's mother Millie, who is 98 years old and is in a nursing home in Netanya. Also, our daughter Miriam comes up one day a week when she can, and she orders our groceries on line (in Hebrew) for us.

We had a crisis a few weeks ago, when I had a false alarm of a heart attack and they kept me in hospital for a few nights for observation. Naomi cannot be left alone and luckily her carer was able to stay in our home one night in the emergency and Miriam came up after Shabbat and stayed the other two nights. But, we realised that we need a full-time live-in carer for her. I go to a Carer's Group at the AACI and they had advised me some time ago to start the process to get permission for a full-time foreign carer. Also, our GP told me to do so. So I had done this and just recently had received permission from the office that deals with this.

It so happens that the carer for Naomi'smother, a Philippina, who is an excellent carer and has done wonders in keeping her mother alive, has been in Israel for nearly 4 years, and that is the maximum that the authorities allow. She is afraid that if she stays longer and Millie dies then she would be deported and she very much wants to stay here. So we made an arrangement, Millie's carer will transfer to our apt. and care for Naomi and we will get another carer for Millie who she will train. Its a win-win situation. Otherwise Naomi refuses to have someone she doesn't know stay in our apartment.

But, in order to do this we need a private spare room. Although we have a spare bedroom, I use it and have my clothes stored in there. Miriam suggested a solution, build a large cupboard in an alcove in our third bedroom, that I use as the computer room/study. Then I could transfer all my clothes into there and also we would have much more storage space. So I set about removing all the stuff that has been accumulating there over the years on the shelves I constructed in that alcove, and also getting quotes from carpenters to build the cupboard. I put ads in a few places and received five recommendations, of whom only one agreed to use formica covered plywood rather than the cheaper chipboard for the same price. Needless to say this is an expensive proposition, but necessary under the circumstances. I also had to have some shelves moved and an electrician in to move some plugs.

It was also lucky that my grandson Rafi, who is 18 and about to go into the IDF, has announced his engagement to a lovely girl. We had some Pesach crockery and cutlery stored on those shelves that hasn't been used for about 5 years (we now use disposable plastic ones). So I had a willing recipient of these very nice sets and much more. Now with Rafi's help the space is cleared, I have also moved my computer and we are ready to have the cupboard installed. It will happen within a few weeks after our forthcoming trip to London.

So that's an update on my personal situation. I am engaged in numerous activities, organizing the two carers, having the cupboard built, moving stuff around, and writing this blog, but I have the faith of a non-believer that it will all work out right in the end. I trust that you my readers will treat this information with suitable discretion.


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